An inquest into the 2014 disappearance of Kellie-Anne Levitski from Mt Darragh began in Bega this week.
When she was 38, she vanished from her family's rural property on Mount Darragh Rd after going to bed on the night of Sunday, March 30. She did not have access to a car and left behind her mobile phone and wallet.
Starting on Tuesday, July 24 in front of Deputy State Coroner Magistrate Teresa O’Sullivan, in the morning the inquest conducted a site visit to the area Kellie-Anne disappeared before testimonies were heard in the Bega Court House.
Detective Senior Constable Sarah Lugsdin was asked to read parts of her statement for the benefit of the court by advocate assisting Alex Creagh.
She said in August 2014 she spoke to a witness who claimed he had seen Kellie-Anne at the Canberra Hospital in June 2014.
Detective Senior Constable Lugsdin attempted to retrieve the hospital’s CCTV footage from that month, but it had already been disposed of. A receptionist told her Kellie-Anne’s name had not been entered into the hospital’s computer records that month, also saying if she had used a false name or date of birth it would be impossible to recognise it in the system.
In September 2015, Detective Senior Constable Lugsdin was contacted by another police officer who said a woman had claimed to see Kellie-Anne walking on Mount Darragh Rd towards Bombala sometime between 10am and 11am after the day she disappeared.
This witness had claimed a dirty, white Toyota HiLux was “creeping” behind Kellie-Anne and it appeared three people in the vehicle had spoken to Kellie-Anne. After witnessing the incident, the witness recorded the car’s registration plate and texted it to her daughter when she got into phone reception.
This witness, Detective Senior Constable Lugsdin said, had known another woman who disappeared; Sylvia Pajuczok who vanished from the Bombala area in 2008.
Despite numerous attempts to contact this witness, Detective Senior Constable Lugsdin was unable to reach her to obtain a statement.
After contacting the witnesses’ telecommunications company, it was discovered no texts had been sent from her phone around 10-11am that day. Also, the woman no longer had the text she sent with the HiLux’s registration number and her daughter’s copy of that text could not be obtained.
When Detective Sergeant Justin Marks testified, he discussed the searches of premises and bushland on Mt Darragh Rd, including searches with a cadaver dog.
While a line search in October 2015 revealed a “weather-worn black coat in bushland”, Kellie-Anne’s father did not believe it belonged to her.
Detective Sergeant Marks said the searches had been conducted “thoroughly and professionally”.
At the end of the day, Kellie-Anne’s stepmother Sue Levitski gave her testimony and said the last time she had seen Kellie-Anne was that Sunday she disappeared.
Sue had made dinner that night and about 6pm Kellie-Anne had come into the house and taken a plate back to the caravan she was staying in on the property. Around 7pm Sue had seen her outside the caravan, possibly smoking a cigarette, and called out goodnight to her, to which Kellie-Anne responded with a wave.
The inquest continues.